Like true predators, narcissists are very good at knowing when & how to attack their prey in the most efficient way possible.
One of their tactics is waiting until their victim is tired or sick.
If you’re tired or sick, you are less likely to be able to defend yourself properly. You don’t think as clearly, so your boundaries may be more lax. Unclear thinking also means you may not know how to handle the situation, so you automatically slip back into old, dysfunctional habits. You may tolerate a lot more than you normally would since you don’t have the physical or mental energy to argue.
When I was sick in bed with the flu a couple of days after losing my cat, Vincent, my mother called. Knowing that Vincent had been my granddad’s cat before he died, she mentioned this. She said she heard Vincent died (my father must’ve told her), & he’s better off. He was so much happier with Granddad than he ever was with me. He never was happy with me. Normally, saying such incredibly cruel things would’ve caused me to completely lose my temper & say bad things I would need to repent for later. Instead, since I was exhausted, feeling horrible & grieving, I just cried. I couldn’t even speak. Not only had I lost my beautiful baby, but it was kinda like losing my Granddad again since Vincent not only was his cat, but was a lot like him. It was devastating, & her words made it more so. I gave my mother just what she wanted with my reaction- proof she hurt me.
Another time several years ago, my parents came by for a visit. My anxiety levels were so bad, I kept vomiting. My mother didn’t care, even when I told her I was sick & needed to rest. Instead, she treated me like dirt & insulted my furbabies while refusing to leave my home.
These are just two of many, many examples I have. I bet if you think about it, you can think of several times your narcissistic mother treated you the same way.
So how do you deal with this obnoxious problem?
The best way I’ve found is to avoid your narcissistic mother when you are sick or tired. Also, don’t forget to prepare- if you know you’re going to see your mother tomorrow, rest up today. Rest & pamper yourself however you like.
When that is impossible, do your best to set a time limit on your visit or call with your mother. If you’re having trouble with that, have a friend call you at a prearranged time telling you she needs you now. Admittedly, this isn’t the best solution, but so you aren’t lying, tell your friend you would like to hang out for a little while or grab some lunch or whatever you feel up to. Also, have a code word. For example, if she calls & you say, “My mother is here” she knows it’s time to tell you she needs to see you immediately. If you say “My mom is here” she knows you’re ok & she doesn’t need to intervene. It’s a good “in case of emergency” solution if nothing else works.